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New! Missouri Green Schools Program

Earth Quest: A game of Environmental Literacy

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Environmental Quizzes

K-2 biodiversity quiz

Coloring Sheets

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Green Holidays Calendar

MELAB - Green Schools

MELAB Green Schools -

March 2012 (Founding MELAB Meeting)

Participating Organizations: Audubon Missouri, Boeing, Girl Scouts of NE KS & NW MO, Kansas City Environmental Education Network (KCEEN), Lincoln University, Missouri Botanical Garden Earthways, Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA), Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF), MO Project WET, Missouri Recycling Association (MORA), Missouri River Relief (MRR), Missouri Votes Conservation (MVC), National Park Service (NPS), City of Springfield, St. Louis County Health Department, University of Missouri Sustainability, U.S. Forest Service (USFS),Washington University Inst for School Partnership.

Deciding on Workgroups
Participants listed issues of concern for their groups.  The issues were grouped under 6 more general headings:

  1. Messaging (issues 1, 4)
  2. Using Outdoors (issues 7 to 19)
  3. Education and Assessment (issues 2, 3, 5, 6, 12, 18)
  4. Value of Landscapes/Stewardship (issues 8, 10, 13, 15, 16)  
  5. Knowledge/Awareness of Human Impact (14, 17)
  6. Careers 

Workgroups were started for #1, #3, #4 and #5 together and #6 based on preferences expressed by participants. Workgroups were re-numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4

November 2012
Vision: Missouri should have a recognition process for schools wanting to work toward a variety of national green school programs. Since there are national programs already developed, the committee doesn’t see any value in recreating a statewide program; only need to focus on recognition and resources. 
Goals: The committee feels that the mission of MELAB should fit the green schools recognition. Therefore, providing support in environmental education should be promoted through the Missouri program. 

  1. MELAB Web page 
  2. Self-check document for schools 
  3. Connect St. Louis, K.C., Springfield, Joplin through the U.S. Green Building Council 


  1. Get resources and self-check sheet online. 
    1. review the checklist and make sure listed items are in the right category
    2. set up a first steps category (items like collect baseline data)
  2. Add MELAB membership to Web page to show statewide support, 
  3. Add “Why be a Healthy Green School” to the website—include introduction of environmental careers – listing 
  4. Invite Kansas and Texas Green Schools organizers to meet with us 
  5. contact USGBC for statewide support 

Other notes: 
Consider magnet schools, private schools (Shaun Bates has a contact), MU Extension for outreach, EPA Energy star to help schools with baseline data, national Green Ribbon Schools winners from St. Louis, PTA in schools, City councils, Missouri School Plant Managers Association, college interns matched with schools, name for Missouri: “Healthy and Green Schools”, award participation, include early childhood centers/schools, create brochures, consider Governor proclamation  
March 2013
The co-chairs of the Green Schools work group drafted a case statement based on the group's discussion that could go to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education asking for their involvement in the Green Ribbon Schools Program . (for 2014?)
Green Schools Case Statement
We, the MELAB committee (Missouri Environmental Literacy Advisory Board) wish to offer support the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's consideration to adopt the 2013-2014 national Green Ribbon Schools program, by providing the following contributions:

1. Volunteer Board/s
An advisory board is willing to review applications and school progress reports in order to provide recognition awards to Missouri schools. Additional boards can be added if needed. Travel and food will be provided through MEEA.

1. Partnerships
An advisory board can provide partnerships through which information can be disseminated and awards can be provided.

3. Provide a website for schools

An advisory board can provide an external website through MEEA for schools to ask questions and find resources for environmental sustainability.

MELAB believes in the following measures for their involvement:

1. Missouri should celebrate the work of all applicants working toward sustainability.
2. Support DESE’s Top 10 by 20 initiative  
3. Coordinate with national and worldwide education standards
a) Scoring at or above proficient on NAEP increases 1% each time test is administered
b) Scoring at or above proficient on state assessments is 75% in all subgroups

November 2013
Goal 1: Create a Missouri Green Schools Program

  1. Endorse one or more existing programs that would prepare schools to meet US Dept. of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program (see examples below)
  2. On the Missouri Green Schools website ( 
    1. provide information and comparisons of endorsed programs
    2. provide recognition of schools’ progress in any program (could be a table linked to an interactive map of MO with school locations as links)
    3. provide resources schools might need – grants, professional development, science expertise (maybe an ask an expert page with FAQs)
  3. Market the Missouri Green Schools program and links to high quality programs

Goal 2: Begin Developing a Marketing Plan for a Missouri Green Schools Program
As you are able and as time permits, go register on Smart Chart at 
Smart Chart is an interactive on-line platform for non-profits to help them develop marketing plans. It requires step-by-step planning so that marketing decisions are based on a well-thought out foundation –
1. Program Decisions – Broad Goal, Objective (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound), Decision Maker
2. Context – Internal Scan, External Scan, Defining Organization’s Position
3. Strategic Choices – Audience Target, Audience Readiness, Core Concerns, Theme, Message, Messengers
4. Communications Activities – Tactics, Timeline, Assignments, Budget
5. Measurements of Success – Outputs, Outcomes
6. Reality Check 
HOMEWORK: It will be helpful if you pick a small marketing project for your organization and begin working through the program. It might take 1 or 2 hours depending on your background knowledge. This “homework” would enable you to make more headway when we get together as a group. The benefit for you is it might help you generate new ideas for your own organization, agency or business. 
MEETING WORK: At the MELAB meeting, agree on a SINGLE specific green school activity and begin developing a plan for reaching a SINGLE specific audience. It will be helpful if at least one person in the group has a laptop on which to work, but I will provide a hard copy worksheet as well. It is unlikely that the group will finish its planning at this meeting, but it should be able to identify some productive ways to proceed.  The group should work for about 90 to 110 minutes, than be ready t0 report out and identify assignments (if any) group members are willing to complete before the next meeting. Please provide a list of these to Jan!
In the course of developing a marketing plan, you will need to think more specifically about what you are offering, either as an individual group or as part of MELAB. So this process will also firm up characteristics and needs for the “product”
Existing Green Schools Programs 
National Wildlife Federation – Eco Schools USA -
this is a 7 step program 1. Put an Eco-Action Team together, 2. Do an environmental audit (multiple options) 3. Put a plan together 4. Monitor and Evaluate 5. Link to Curriculum 6. Involve the Community 7. Create your eco-code
Schools can achieve different levels of recognition based on their efforts. Any school completing this could easily fulfill the requirements of the Green Ribbon Schools award. 
There are 15 Eco-Schools in Missouri
Center for Green Schools -
This is from the US Green Building Council and is aimed at older high school and college students, and mainly focused on the building
PLT - Green Schools -
This program provides 5 hands-on, student-driven, STEM-aligned  investigations 1. Energy 2. Water 3. School Site 4. Waste and Recycling 5. Environmental Quality.  Students and staff set up green teams, do investigations, and develop and carry out action plans to address school problems. The site provides resources, grants and recognition 
There are 17 PLT GreenSchools in Missouri
March 2014
goal 1 -  have a Missouri green schools awards program to recognize schools’ good efforts, increase networking (as schools turn to local resources) and have case studies and models for schools to follow
objective 1 – decide levels of awards that schools could achieve (using work that Tana and Debbie Brunner did last year), ensure that awards are aligned with Green Ribbon Schools so if and when MO participates schools don’t need to duplicate efforts. 
objective 2 – decide how awards would be decided, by whom they would be decided and when they would be decided
objective 3 -  set up a website that would provide consistency for the program (info all in one place and written down) and links to resources for schools that wanted to participate
objective 4 – develop a communication plan that incorporates health or healthy human, economic and environmental systems in its messaging
tasks - Matt will meet with Kansas Green schools, Tana will compile the materials she and Debbie put together
goal 2 – work with DESE to persuade them to sign up for Federal Green Ribbon Schools
tasks - Matt will talk explore ways to influence DESE leadership


December 2014

By the meeting, we should have a website address to hang the green schools program on. However, there needs to be some discussion of the look and architecture of the site. Another issue – seeing if we can get DESE to sign up for Green Ribbon Schools this year.

May 2015

There is a website - - it needs to be populated. Jan met briefly with Shaun Bates in February to ask about Green Ribbon Schools and got a list of steps to take care of in trying for 2016 participation (which requires an August 2015 sign up by DESE). There is also a google docs site with info on past efforts to implement GRS 0B6qEeayar9YZREctb1BHNFZLRzA&usp=sharing

December 2015

May 2016

Work - Jan asked meeting participants to split into three groups to review the three pillars of the Federal Green Ribbon Schools sample application to identify resources, identify the easiest steps and to suggest ideas for reaching schools. Download a spreadsheet with notes for each of the three pillars. Not that easy to read, but it has everything in one place. 
Feedback questions and things to think about.


December 2016

Jan provided members of the group a sample Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) nomination form and a scoring form for each member to use to evaluate the nomination form. Scoring sections took 10 to 20 minutes, scoring the whole nomination took 30 to 60 minutes. Scores on sections were closest for Pillar 3 because there was a more detailed rubric for evaluation. The group recommended that a similar level of detail be provided for Pillars 1 and 2. 
In general, the group thought the nomination form and scoring form were a good effort given the timeframe. Jan will seek more detailed feedback at the May meeting.
Melissa, Hope and Rob agreed to be reviewers for any nominations that came in. Most of the group members also agreed to see if they could find schools willing to fill out the nomination form. The consensus was that going through the form and scoring it made it seem much more doable.
There was informal discussion about categorizing private schools separately from public schools and whether there should be a minimum cutoff score before a school could be considered for nomination to the federal GRS program.
May 2017

Jensen, Michael and Anne Marie had all submitted nominations for their schools, and Katie, Kat and Rob had reviewed proposals, so Hope asked folks to reflect on their experiences with the nominations from both sides. There was some discussion about the summary being put at the end so people wouldn't try to fill it out before they had done the rest of the proposal. 
Then Jan asked them to split up in three groups, with each group taking one of the three pillars (sustainability, health and learning) and going through the components of each to see if there were ways to improve the form both from the perspective of schools applying and the folks reviewing.
Jan also asked for some suggestions about the actual process. Michael said his school used google docs so that people with the expertise could fill in their sections, but others could see what they were doing. 
Jan will compile the suggested changes and make edits to the form, and explore making it available as a google doc for this coming year's application. 

December 2017

Develop a standing MGS program with tiers that can serve as a feeder for USED Green Ribbon Schools nominations 1) develop tiers: commitment, emerging, proficient (ready for GRS nomination), advanced 2) develop metrics for each category 3) develop language 4) draft program by May 2018

Missouri Green Schools Recognition program:
4 levels of recognition:




Pillar 2 : Health and Wellness

Level 1 | Emerging


Do you know where your school’s water comes from?

  • Municipal water supply
  • On-site well
  • Other, please describe:
  • I don’t know

What steps are taken to ensure water is safe to drink from contaminants. Contaminants can include microorganisms, disinfectants (yes, really), disinfectant byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides.

  • Protecting from source water is drawn
  • Treatment at a plant
  • Both a and b
  • I don’t know

Does your school have a place to test for and control lead or other contaminants in drinking fountains and sinks in place?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

How often is the water in drinking fountains and sinks tested for lead or other contaminants?

  • Every six months
  • Annually
  • Other, please describe
  • I don’t know

If lead or other contaminants are detected in the water, what is the school plan to address the issue? Please describe in 50 words or less.

Does your school take steps to control moisture from leaks, condensation, and excess humidity?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school take steps to clean up or remove moldy materials when found?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school participate in the USDA’s Healthier School’s Challenge or a similar program?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school meet the minimum requirement of state mandated physical activity for your grade level?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school have a program to raise awareness of safe sun exposure (EPA SunWise)

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school have a program to raise awareness of outdoor air quality (Air Now AQ Flags)

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school have a school nurse or health center?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school have an Employee Wellness Program?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know



Level 2 | Progressing


Does your school have procedures for inspecting and maintain the buildings ventilation system to ensure they are clean and operating properly?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

What procedures does your school have in place for inspecting and maintaining building ventilation systems?

  • Protecting from source water is drawn
  • Treatment at a plant
  • Both a and b

Does your school take any of the following steps to control for specific airborne contaminates?




I Don’t Know

Exhaust Systems for Heating Systems




Exhaust Systems for Labs




No idling policies




Vehicle unloading/unloading zones at least ten feet from air intakes




Doors and Windows Operational








If other, please describe:

What is the annual volume of pesticide use (gal/student/year)?

Does your school incorporate fresh, local, and/or organic produce?

  • Yes, we have a Farm to School program
  • Yes, we have a school garden and utilize the produce in our cafeteria or classes
  • Yes, we incorporate fresh, local, and organic produce through the curriculum such as cooking classes
  • Other, we have a different source of fresh produce for our cafeteria
  • No
  • I don’t know

If you selected other please briefly describe your source of fresh produce/healthy foods:

How many minutes a week are spent on supervised P.E?

What % of the supervised P.E. takes place outdoors?

What are some of the activities your school does with students outdoors? Please describe in 100 words or less.

Does your school provide outdoor exercise and recreation opportunities separate from the mandated P.E.?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Is education about exercise, nutrition, and safety integrated into classroom assignments?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know



Does your school provide health services to assess and manage chronic conditions like asthma or other conditions related to environmental health?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

    If yes, please describe some services available:

Does your school take steps to support student mental health and school social & emotional climate?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

What steps does your school take to support student mental health and school social/emotional climate?

  • Anti-bullying programs
  • Peer counseling
  • Health services to assist with emotional stresses
  • Mindfulness training
  • Mentor programs
  • Family support services
  • Other, please describe:

What employee wellness programs or policies does your school have?

  • Programs and policies that encourage healthy eating
  • Programs and policies that encourage active lifestyles
  • Programs and policies that encourage the decrease of tobacco use
  • Programs and policies that teach strategies to manage stress
  • Programs and policies that help one avoid injury
  • Programs and policies that help reduce exposure to environmental hazards
  • Other, please describe:


Level 3 | Advanced


Does your school have a policy for inspecting and maintain the buildings ventilation system to ensure they are clean and operating properly?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Please describe the policies your school has for inspecting and maintain the buildings ventilation systems to ensure they are clean and operating properly.

Does your school have use Integrated Pest Management strategies to control pests?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

What IPM strategies does your school currently utilize?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Does your school track and monitor all chemicals coming onto your school’s campus?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

What policies and procedures does your school have for identifying, managing, and/or reducing exposure to chemical hazards on school grounds

  • Smoking ban on school grounds and buses
  • Policies for handling mercury thermometers and lamps
  • Radon testing in below ground spaces
  • Policies to reduce CCA in playground equipment
  • Policies for cleaning materials such as when and what chemicals can be used
  • Policies for reducing landscape and pest control chemicals
  • Chemical management and storage policies for classrooms (such as a science lab)
  • Other, please describe:

Are the topics of exercise, nutrition and safety assessed through classroom assignments?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

Please describe in 100 words or less how the topics of exercise, nutrition and safety are assessed in your school:

Please describe the school’s health services (including mental health) and their impact on the school’s social and emotional climate?

Please describe the school’s employee wellness program and their impact on school staff?

Please describe the key community partnerships and their impact that facilitates soupport for student learning, development, and health-related activities (100 words or less):

Does your school take steps to ensure that all families are actively engaged in ways that improve their health outcomes?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know

If yes, please describe in 100 words or less:


What are your school’s top THREE accomplishments in achieving environmental health, nutrition and fitness, and coordinated school health goals?

Are there any innovative efforts or efforts that have not been included already in this review that your school has in place to help achieve goals related to environmental health, nutrition and fitness, and coordinated school health goals?


May 10, 2018 Notes

1. Katherine Golden –
2. Matt Riggs –
3. Brandi Cartwright –
4. Hope Gribble – hope.gribble@mobot.corg
5. Bailey Lutz –


  1. LOGO - Kat and EWC Intern will produce 4 preliminary logo designs by June 15, the committee will send feedback to Kat by June 22, Kat and Intern will review and edit and send final design proposals to committee by July 1
  2. Finalizing Questions for 3 Tiers – Brandi and Mike Dittrich will work on Curriculum, Matt and Jensen will work on Building, Proposed draft questions to the committee by July 31, in Aug-Oct committee members submit and review tiers online, November conference call to review
  3. Finish Cross-Cutting Questions – All by Aug-Oct
  4. Commitment Letter and Draft Framework for Instructions – Kat, Hope and Bailey will have a draft due September
  5. MELAB Meeting in December – All will present program format feedback, start discussion of website  and promotional outreach
  6. Outrach Plan - ??? – plan for website and logistics, establish final review and evaluation plan
2019-2020 SY Full Program Roll Out